If you're a senior on a fixed income who, say, takes the bus to do your grocery and drug shopping, chances are the price of gas at the pump doesn't affect you much.
Or, at least, you think it doesn't. Unfortunately, it's the huge drop in energy prices (part of the consumer price mix) that has dragged down inflation to the point where the government says that, statistically, there isn't any. So you can forget that cost of living allowance in your Social Security check, Granny.
Now, anybody who goes to the supermarket knows that food prices haven't dropped, unless you're a big milk drinker. But the government doesn't parse things that delicately. They look at the whole gorgeous panoply of consumer goods when they make their heartless calculations.
The problem, as I've said before, is that once you start giving people things on a regular basis, they come to expect them.
So Social Security recipients are going to want to know, in no uncertain terms, why they didn't get their annual raise. It will be amusing, to say the least, to hear members of congress carefully explain the above rationale about inflation to someone for whom a couple of dollars may dictate whether they have to miss a meal this month or not.
My guess is they won't be able to take the heat.